Trucking News – March 2020

“MY ACCOUNTANTS SAY THAT I DO THE JOB OF 4 PEOPLE BECAUSE I HAVE AXON.” “It’s $150,000 To $200,000 That It Has Saved The Company In Administration Costs. Every Year!”

Triple T Energy Services does business in the oilfields of Alberta, Canada. The oil industry has its ups and downs, so it’s important to stay prepared for any situation. In this recent interview, Nikki Thom explains how they keep their business running as lean and efficient as possible, with the help of Axon Software.

Can you tell us a bit about the company?

We are an oilfield service company. Tank rentals, vacuum trucks, pickers, bed trucks, winch tractors, matting, any miscellaneous service.

My father-in-law started the company in 1978. He bought one tank, thinking he would start a college fund for his boys. He thought if he rented out the tank, that he would put that money towards their college. Then he bought another tank, then another tank, and then had to move the tanks – so he purchased trucks. It just grew from there. Now my sons are going to college.

We started using Axon in 2014. It’s absolutely wonderful. The program is wonderful. Support is wonderful. Reports, maintenance tracking, unit tracking, expense tracking – to track everything is incredible.

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I am Nikki Thom, a manager here with Triple T Energy. We have two locations – one in Claresholm and the other in Pincher Creek.

Has anything changed about the way you do business?

It has actually totally changed our business because you can track the equipment you need, your expenses – you track everything. Our program before tracked through spreadsheets so this, tracking everything, it’s wonderful.

The most beneficial thing I find is being able to track everything. We track all my employees’ courses, H2S, first aid. We track my trucks’ maintenance, my trucks’ certifications, my trucks’ CVIPs. Yeah, I can track everything.

It’s very easy to track our staff and very efficient to do payroll compared to what we had before with Sage Business Vision.

We used to use paper. Every employee had a time sheet, and if you worked 8 hours, you just wrote 8 hours. There was no tracking of shop time, maintenance time, truck time. You knew that your truck was going out, but if somebody didn’t hand in the paperwork, or if you weren’t on top of it, you might not actually know you had all your paperwork.

It’s highly beneficial to track everything. Now I can’t miss anything.

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So Axon Software has helped reduce mistakes and things that go missing?

We run a work order, and the guys that day fill out a work order that matches the ticket – which contains the invoice. When I enter the work order into the system, and then when I pull the ticket, everything is attached. If I don’t have the work order, I know I don’t have the ticket.

When I do payroll, nothing is missed because I can track everything. I know that there are 14 days. I know the ticket matches, and I can go through the system. If it’s not dispatched, if there’s not a ticket, it’s all there.

I just generate the ticket, generate the invoice, and away she goes. I bet you I’m 2 or 3 times faster using Axon.

Do you use equipment revenue reports to see which trucks are making money?

I actually run them every month. I can tell which units have had more repairs, which units have used more fuel than they should have, what the employee pay was. The biggest thing is, now I can track all the repairs and maintenance. If the truck is costing me too much, then maybe it’s not a unit that we need to have.

I can track costs, I can track unit expense, I can track absolutely everything in seconds. I can have a report and I know exactly what’s costing me too much money

If you added more trucks, would you need more staff on the administration side?

If it got really busy, maybe one. But at the rate I can pull reports, invoices, payables, receivables, no. It’s pretty accurate, so I don’t need anybody else to help. Times were busier before, but there used to be 3 of us, and now there’s me.

My accountants say that I do the job of 4 people because I have Axon.

We’re pretty much down to half the staff because of Axon. Having Axon has eliminated 3-4 positions in this company, I’m going to say it’s

$150,000 to $200,000 that it has saved the company in administration costs. Every year.

If a customer calls and has a question, how quickly can you get them the information?

With the Axon program, it’s pretty wonderful that I can pull up an attachment with a ticket or an invoice. I have all my costs, unit numbers, employees, exactly what each unit did. Within seconds I can give the customer information, when before I’m going to say it would have maybe been 20 minutes to get back to the customer. The time savings has been incredible.

I can also pull reports for a customer and know when their rental started, say at the first of the month and they’ve had it for 8 months. I can pull up the ticket, the attachment, and see exactly what they have for equipment out there. Everything was spreadsheets before, which was an absolute nightmare, because you’re only as good as your entry.

How is your experience with Axon Software training and support?

Axon has been wonderful. The support is wonderful. I phone in, and even if there is nobody available they are back to me within 20 minutes. I’ve always had excellent people to deal with. The support has been absolutely incredible.

With any other programs, we’ve had no support. With Axon, we’ve had full support. It’s wonderful.

The training was wonderful, because it’s such an involved system compared to what we ran before when everything was basically on spreadsheets. With Axon, you can enter everything into the system.

The training was excellent, because they walk you through the steps of everything. When you get going, if you have a problem, you can phone in. The training is absolutely exceptional.

If someone in the industry asked about the software, what would you say?

Buy it. It’s truly wonderful. It has made a substantial difference around here from the cost savings: the savings from knowing what your equipment is generating to knowing exactly where your equipment is at. Get rid of all your spreadsheets and have it in one system, and you can pull reports in seconds. It’s all right there.

I can run a business with 30 trucks, with me doing payables, receivables, safety, cleaning – I can do everything because we have this program. If we didn’t run Axon, I couldn’t actually do everything that I do. I am able to track all the paperwork, all the maintenance, all the safety with just myself.

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TAILOR-MADE BILLS OF LADING

A bill of lading is a legal document detailing the type, quantity, and destination of the goods you are carrying.

You need to be sure that it includes all the necessary information in the most appropriate format, so Axon provides you with a variety of ways to tailor the bill of lading to your particular needs.

  • You decide which pick/drop fields you want to include and whether or not you want to add columns for other charges and ACE commodities.
  • The standard header provides blank spaces for handwriting the name of the tractor and driver.
  • Or you can customize the header with your own choice of fields.
  • Choose the Print Totals checkbox if you want to display the total dollar figures.
  • Enter any legalities (usually about legal liability) you want to include in the footer.
  • Axon Link App users can choose to print a signature on the BOL.
  • You can print up to 4 copies and add information to identify each page (e.g. Driver Copy).
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SETTING UP A CUSTOM FIELD

Custom fields are a useful way to track information that isn’t handled by the standard fields.

When you’re choosing the Type of custom field, you’ll find that some of the Type options can be ued to set up your own pull-down list:

  • Use Choose List if you are creating a short list that will not need to be changed or added to very often.
  • Use Choose Several from List if you want to be able to choose more than one item from the list.
  • Use Text, from Custom Table if you want to be able to easily add additional items to the table (use the Access button on the pull down list to create the additional entries).

Other Type options automatically provide you with a pull down list or pop-up window to use when filling in data, including two new ones for Equipment and Business Partners:

  • Choose the Equipment option to link a transaction to a particular piece of Equipment (e.g. to specify the piece of Equipment on each Other Charge on an Order).
  • Choose the Business Partner option to link a transaction to a specific Business Partner (e.g. if the charges on an Order have involved various third parties for permits, insurance, etc.).
  • Choose the Commodity option to link a transaction to a particular Commodity.
  • Choose Attachment if you want to be able to store an attachment.
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TIPS

If you want to be able to tab out of a custom multi-line text field, place a checkmark in the Tab through checkbox under Field Properties.

You cannot change the Type of a custom field once it is created; you can only change its Field Properties. You can, however, switch the following:

  • Text custom fields between single line and multi line
  • Choose List custom fields to Text, from Custom Table

Right click and choose Delete if you want to remove a custom field. Or, hide a custom field by highlighting it and deleting it from the Layouts section of the Customize Screen pop up window.

Go to Field Properties to change the Name of a field.

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